Botany is the technical name for the scientific studying of plants, and it can teach us a lot about life as a whole. By looking in to the various aspects of the flora, we can see how life has changed over the millennia and gain a better understanding of where we are now.
Encourage your children to learn about the natural wonders of plants and you may help a love of the outside world to germinate – your little ones will develop a bond with nature and find out how important plants are to the world as a whole.
Explore the Great Outdoors
One of the best ways of fostering a love for the outside (and thus encourage a healthy, active lifestyle instead of one spent vegetating in front of the TV) is to go on regular nature walks.
Look at the site ahead of your visit to ensure there are no harmful plants (like poison ivy and poison oak) around, and then issue the kids with long sleeved T-shirts, long trousers, and rubber gloves. Get them to pick up as many different types of plants as they can see, then meet up together at the end of the walk.
Use this opportunity to get the children talking about the specimens they’ve brought back and to group them together according to different characteristics. Once that’s done, tell them all about the plants they’ve found. Don’t worry if you’re no expert – just bring along a botanical dictionary!
Grow Your Own Plants
This is a great way to make your kids appreciate just how vital plants are, and you can save some money doing it too! Buy some seeds and teach your children how to grow different plants. Whether it’s the traditional “watercress on the windowsill” method or you’re cultivating an entire vegetable patch, this will teach ‘em how to care for plants.
After each growing session, grill them with a few questions related to the lessons learnt, like “what is photosynthesis?” and “what do plants need to grow?” Once your veggies have grown, harvest them and enjoy them together!
Visit a Botanic Garden
Botanic gardens make for a fascinating and enjoyable day out, and most cities will have at least one nearby – in fact, if you are remotely near Liverpool you should pay a visit to the botanical gardens at Ness.
Ness Gardens, like many other botanical gardens, is home to a wide range of exotic plant species, ranging from all the corners of the world. Ness is special because it is dedicated to the research and preservation of flora, as it is a part of the University of Liverpool.
This results in an incredible variety on display – with more than ten thousand taxa of plants on display, it’s one of the biggest collections in the country. There are plenty of passionate experts on hand to teach your kids about what they’re seeing, and children of all ages will love the natural beauty of the wildflower meadow.
Call up your nearest botanic garden and ask to book a tour – kids will learn plenty and have a great day, especially if you pack a nice picnic!
Tom Rokins is writer from the UK writing about all things in nature from flowers to grass to animals! In his spare time he likes to go bird watching and tender his own garden.